Who We Are
In 1998 Brighton and Hove LGBT Switchboard approached Mind in Brighton and Hove to start discussions about how to highlight the mental health needs of Brighton's LGB&T communities. A number of public meetings were held, involving local community groups, activists, service providers and service commissioners.
Comic Relief provided funding to start up an Advocacy, Group Work and Training project, run by Mind in Brighton and Hove. This became MindOut.
In 2011 MindOut branched out and became an independent charity on it's own.
MindOut is staffed by out LGBTQ workers and volunteers. The staff and volunteer team is:
Rita Hirani – CEO
Rita (she/her) is a social entrepreneur and trainer, with 35+ years of experience in the voluntary sector. She has pioneered innovative projects for marginalised communities in the field of domestic violence and abuse, community services, and helplines.
Lucy Kamper – Business Development Manager
Lucy (she/her) started her work with MindOut as a peer support group volunteer and went on to join us as the new Business Development Manager in April 2019. MindOut is a charity close to her heart and she’s excited to generate new sources of income and develop fundraising strategies for the organisation.
She is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and has previously run nutrition workshops for the Terrance Higgins Trust. She also holds a degree in Information & Media Studies and is interested in the representation of LGBTQ+ people in the media.
Malaika Fallah - Fundraising Assistant
Malaika (she/they) joined the MindOut team in January 2021. As a new member of the team, she is looking forward to overseeing event/community and individual fundraisers. She was particularly attracted to MindOut as it's a charity for and run by LGBTQ+ people with an understanding/experience of mental health.
Before joining MindOut, she worked in hospitality and volunteered at RISE UK in digital fundraising and communications. Malaika has a Bachelors of Arts with Honours in Geography from UCL. During her time at university, she was the BME Publicity Officer, and she volunteered and then led the Environmental Justice Project to raise awareness to students and the public about environmental injustice.
In June Malaika joined the advocacy team on a temporary basis as a LGBTQ Mental Health Advocate.
Alysa Friedrich - Training Programme Manager
Alysa (she/her) joined the MindOut team in November 2020. She is honoured to work for an organization that values compassion and authenticity, and hopes to grow the Training program to expand MindOut’s already-impressive reach. She is passionate about leadership development and capacity-building through training and is thrilled to be on the MindOut Team.
Alysa has a Bachelors of Arts in Urban Studies and Social Justice from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, as well as an MA in Sociology, Photography and Urban Culture from Goldsmiths University of London. She has worked in the Third Sector for over ten years on a diverse range of campaigns and issues including reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights and gun violence prevention.
Calvin Stovell - People of Colour Development Manager
Calvin (he/him) Joined MindOut in February 2022 in the role of People of Colour Development Manager, where he will be leading on the organisations Anti-racism work and develop interventions and supports for LGBTQ PoC around their mental health.
Prior to joining MindOut, Calvin worked as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor, providing support to men, non-binary and trans people experiencing sexual violence through the criminal justice system, and as a Sexual Health Advisor, providing information and support around safe sex and sexually transmitted infections.
Calvin has done some counselling training, and developed his skills around Intersectionality, Anti-Oppressive practice, Anti-racism and group facilitation. He is excited to be working with MindOut and looking forward to the work he hopes to be doing there.
Georgios Hadjimichael - Office Manager
Georgios (any and all pronouns) joined the MindOut team in October 2018. As Office Manager, they maintain MindOut's databases, digital systems, and lead on office organisation. They have been part of the Admin team for three years, during which they have also gained experience as an LGBTQ Mental Health Advocate. Georgios is also one of MindOut's associate trainers, supporting and delivering training on LGBTQ mental health inclusion.
Georgios has also been a familiar face in Brighton's LGBTQ hospitality scene, working at local queer venues and pop-up events such as Brighton Fringe and Tramfrau.
Christopher Roskelly - Administrator
Christopher (he/him) joined the MindOut team as Administrator in October 2020.
He has previously worked as an NHS administrator and communications specialist, and as Treasurer for Trans* Pride Brighton and Hove. He has a special interest in websites and databases, and looks after day to day admin work in the office.
He is interested in how access to information can support health and wellbeing, and passionate about empowering LGBTQ people.
Cerys Evans – Administrator
Cerys (she/her) joined the admin team in December 2021, providing support for MindOut and its Services Users. Previously, she has worked for the NHS, education settings, and in bereavement services. Having also been a call handler for Samaritans, Cerys is passionate about bringing an empathetic approach to admin services and making her work environment as inclusive as possible.
Outside of MindOut, Cerys is a playwright and poet whose work has been showcased at The Barbican, The South Bank Centre, and Brighton FemFest. Her work focuses on trans self esteem and mental wellbeing.
Mandy Bigden-Slack - Senior Advocacy Practioner
Mandy (she/her) joined the Advocacy team in 2018. She has worked as an Advocate for many years, and is a City and Guilds (Level 3) qualified specialist Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
She has worked across a variety of voluntary and community sector organisations as well as within statutory services in London and Brighton, for people who are victims of hate crimes, experiencing homelessness and housing related issues, substance misuse concerns, ex- offenders, people with physical disabilities, minority communities and people experiencing mental health concerns; but her passion lies with her Advocacy work supporting and empowering the community in Brighton.
Zamy Camus-Doughan - Community Advocacy Worker
Zamy (they/them) joined the MindOut team as the Community Advocacy Worker in October 2020. They help LGBTQ individuals access support regarding mental health & healthcare, representation, legal rights, safety and employment.
They are also a youth worker with a focus on BAME participation with Free2B in South London. In the past 3 years, they have experience supporting LGBTQ people of migrant experience as a volunteer with UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) and have provided trans & intersex specific healthcare advocacy in London.
Zamy holds a MA in Postcolonial Studies and as a student organiser formed community spaces for queer & trans people of colour and campaigned around anti-racism and promoting trans and intersex respect and well-being on campus. In their free time, Zamy enjoys reading, cooking and learning capoeira.
Karen Dresback - Over-50s Advocate, Community Engagement Worker, and Duty Worker
Karen (she/her) began volunteering for MindOut at Brighton Pride in 2013. Since then she has developed a wide base of skills in working with LGBTQ people affected by mental health, stigma, and discrimination. Prior to joining MindOut she previously worked in customer service, live music promotion, and administrative roles.
Through the MindOut volunteering training programme she has taken the opportunity to develop flexible skills as a Group Worker, Online Support Worker and Peer Mentor, before taking on paid roles in admin, group work, service delivery and volunteer management, casework, and advocacy.
Karen joined the permanent staff team at MindOut in 2018 when she became the Housing and Over-50s Advocate. In 2021 she took on a wider brief to include the Community Engagement and Duty Worker roles.
Amy Conkerton-Darby - Housing Advocacy Worker
Amy (they/she) joined MindOut in August 2021 as Housing Advocate. They are excited to work with other LGBTQ+ people and bring their values and experience together in their work, something which brought her to MindOut in particular.
They have previous experience of advocacy in residential homes and hospital settings, wanting to turn their experiences of accessing mental health care into something that empowers others. They have a BA in Philosophy and focused in particular on LGBTQ+ in philosophy, ethics, human rights and justice.
Lou Thomas - Trans Advocacy Worker
Lou (they/them) joined the Advocacy team in 2021. They help trans and non-binary people have their voices heard, and combat discrimination and accessibility issues that impact them.
Lou studied an MA in Sexual Dissidence at the University of Sussex, where their research focused on disability, sexuality, and embodiment in a digital world. They previously worked with people living with HIV, providing health support and advocacy, and running peer support and wellbeing groups. Alongside their work in the charity sector Lou is a yoga teacher and arts facilitator, specialising in mindful, accessible and body positive wellbeing, particularly for LGBTQ+ communities. They run regular classes, workshops and events around Brighton & Hove.
Lou loves animals, being in nature, and reading on the beach.
Dawn Hayes - Peer Mentoring and 50+ Wellbeing Co-ordinator
Dawn (she/her) joined the MindOut Advocacy team in December 2017, specialising in housing related advocacy and now co-ordinates the Peer Mentoring and 50+ support services
Dawn’s career spans over 28 years and includes tenancy management and support, customer services, repairs and improvement, and service user participation/involvement to improve services. Dawn’s main passion and focus now is listening to the ‘voice of experience’, empowerment and inclusion.
‘I am delighted to be part of the MindOut team and use my knowledge and experience in a positive way’.
Trudi Pearce - Project Worker
Trudi (she/her) joined the peer support team in December 2021 as a Mental Health project worker for MindOut’s wellbeing service. Previously, she worked as a volunteer providing befriending and mentoring for MindOut’s service users and continues to work as a caregiver for the elderly.
Trudi’s earlier career journey started with a BA (Hons) in Travel and Tourism and later a MSc in Sustainable Tourism Management. This is where her passion to lobby, engage and mentor travel organisations to adopt best practice and an inclusive approach was prevalent.
In 2020 Trudi decided to broaden and build on her coaching qualifications and study as a counsellor to CPCAB level 3 and will continue to level 4 in January 2022.
Beyond MindOut, Trudi is a cat lover, and enjoys sourcing local ingredients and cooking homemade tasty dishes. After all that delicious food outdoor activity such as country walks, mindfulness and playing sports hits the spot.
Kip Webb-Heller - Project Worker
Kip (he/they/fae) joined the MindOut team in January 2022. He is thrilled to be part of an organisation that values wellbeing and responding genuinely to need, as well as understanding mental health as a community issue. They are passionate about working with an empathetic, intersectional, and affirming approach.
Previously to working at MindOut, Kip was a support worker for adults with Autism, learning disabilities, and/or mental health needs, after training as an early years teacher. This, alongside their own life experiences, taught them a lot about the importance of being trauma-informed and how vital connecting with our mental health is to all of us. Kip hopes to use their knowledge and experiences to create positive change and inclusion.
Outside of work, Kip enjoys making art, swimming in the sea, dancing, nature, and cuddling his dogs.
Gabi Parkham - Online Service Manager
Gabi (she/her) joined MindOut in January 2022 as the Online Service Manager. With a background in managing volunteers for charities, Gabi has worked for a number of LGBTQ organisations and founded Laviot (a social and supportive community for LGBT+ Jewish women and non-binary people) in 2018. Gabi is really excited to expand the online service to support more LGBTQ people around the world. Gabi is also a yoga teacher with a focus on accessibility and LGBTQ wellbeing.
Darren Flint - Counselling Co-ordinator
Darren (he/she/they) joined the MindOut team in September 2016 as an Administrator. Darren has supported our Counselling service since it began, and is proud to now lead the service as Counselling Coordinator. They also deliver training and support the general management and service delivery of the charity.
Darren is an active member of Brighton’s queer communities. Alongside their roles for MindOut, they also run Counselling Intentions, a private counselling practice specialising in LGBTQ client work.
Peter Golder - Counselling Service Assistant
Peter (he/him) began the role of Counselling Service Assistant in January 2022, having previously volunteered as a counsellor for MindOut for 3 years. His work involves supporting the Counselling Services Manager and volunteer counsellors in the day to day administration of the Counselling service.
He is passionate about supporting people with their mental health, which has been influenced by his study and work over 15 years. This has included volunteering at the Samaritans, Terence Higgins Trust and now training to be a psychotherapist.
Besides his work at MindOut, Peter also supports the LGBTQ community in his private practice counselling work to people predominantly in Brighton and Hove and also across the UK. He also runs a small therapy group within the NHS to people living with dementia.
Outside of his work, Peter enjoys exercise, reading and walking on the South Downs or beside the sea.